Goalkeeper Steve Harper said: "I am happy - that's the one game, when the fixtures come out, that everybody wants to win, and we have managed to do that.
"We have played better this season, but it's difficult in a derby game."
Newcastle now head for West Ham next weekend looking to extend their unbeaten run to seven games, something they have not done all season.
But for 22-year-old defender Steven Taylor, the only Geordie in the starting XI, it does not get much better than yesterday.
He said: "There was no better feeling on the final whistle than seeing the Sunderland players with faces like smacked backsides.
"We were disappointed at the Stadium of Light because we didn't get the result we wanted there, and today was for the fans.
"The fans deserved that, and it was great to send them home happy."